As I mentioned last week, my son has discovered my rather extensive collection of old wrestling shows and is working his way through them at random.
One minute he’s watching WCW, the next Wrestlemania 6 is blaring out, then some minor WWE B-show, then ECW (which he really doesn’t like), then some documentary DVD (especially the matches), then some random match from some comp tape put together for me 25 years ago. For him it’s all new and wonderful and the sense of discovery is pretty cool.
Admit it – this is great.
But, you see, this brings me to my dilemma. It’s not anything I’ve had to face before.
Or so I thought. Because now that I’ve had to face it, I realise that in the past I’ve just ignored it.
Something like this?
Okay, here it is.
He found Royal Rumble 2004 and Wrestlemania XX. He enjoys these two shows. A lot.
Hang on… the Interwebs tell me this guy won!
He asked me what Chris Benoit was like.
How do I answer? He was 16 months old when Benoit did what he did; his sister hadn’t even been born yet. He would have no real concept of what happened, or that a person could even kill his son and wife.
What do I tell him? That he killed his beautiful wife in a fit of something we can’t understand, and then applied a wrestling hold to kill his son before he killed himself? That his brain had been turned to mush by the impacts on it? That he wasn’t right in the head? What Benoit did apparently wasn’t pre-meditated, but he still did it.
Now, this is where I am conflicted. Should I stop him from watching Benoit matches? Or should I be honest? And then where does that stop?
Do I tell him that Jimmy Snuka – who he likes – is still under investigation for murder? Do I tell him that New Jack – who he has also seen on DVD – is insane? And how do I explain how Lex Luger – who he thinks is okay – may well have contributed to the death of Miss Elizabeth – who he thinks ‘looks nice’?
And why stop at wrestling?
Do I tell him that the (alleged) bass player from the Sex Pistols (Sid Vicious) – which he has recently discovered – stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon to death while string out on drugs, and then stop him from listening to their music?
Do I stop him from watching the Naked Gun movies because OJ Simpson is in them? Okay, Simpson was found not guilty, but that hasn’t stopped constant speculation.
Both my children like older music. Do I stop them listening to anything produced by Phil Spector (especially All Things Must Pass by George Harrison) after he shot and killed a woman?
Do people no longer watch Gig Young movies after he killed his wife and himself?
Hell, even Laura Bush killed some-one, although she got away with it.
And where do we stop? Tim Allen was convicted of drug dealing; should he be the voice of one of the most popular children’s characters? Should WWE wipe the main event of Wrestlemania XI because of Lawrence Taylor’s convictions?
Wow! Did Shane McMahon change between this and winning WMXX or what?
So… Serious question in need of an answer.
Tags: Chris Benoit, DVD, ECW, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka, lawrence taylor, Lex Luger, Miss Elizabeth, new jack, royal rumble, Shane McMahon, sid vicious, Ultimate Warrior, WCW, wrestlemania, Wrestlemania VI, wrestlemania xx, wrestler, wrestling, WWE